Sunday, November 09, 2014

The strangeness of the 2014 election

Norman Birnbaum in his The 2014 Elections First Thoughts 11/05/2014 points out the strangeness of the situation in which the genuinely positive and constructive aspects of Obama's Administration are ignored to an amazing extent:

Historians will one day produce convincing explanations of why the American electorate, and the makers of opinion in particular, have so systematically denigrated the President. In recent weeks he has been held responsible for the supposedly erratic and unconvincing US response to Ebola in the US. The charge rests on a great deal of magical thinking (the US should somehow be exempt from diseases which afflict others). They are also striking instances of hypocrisy, coming often from politicians who have opposed Federal regulation of health care and health matters. He has also been blamed for the rise of the latest Jihadist menace, the ISIL group ---with the preposterous assertion that had the US not withdrawn troops from Iraq, or had we backed so called moderates in Syria, the new Jihadist scourge would never have emerged. The assertion reveals total ignorance of the Mideast (which characterizes many in government and the Congress and the media) as well as a primitive belief in the omnipotence of the US. Obama has told more of the truth about the world than any of his predecessors since Kennedy---and has been loudly condemned for it by many in his own party and the governmental apparatus, who live not for our increasingly chaotic and destructive imperial adventures but from these.
The unwillingness of so many Democratic candidates to defend those accomplishments in 2014 is a big part of the problem, of course:

It would have been rational for the Democrats to gather around their President instead of running in panic from him, asking him not to campaign in their districts and behaving as if the Republican attacks on him (often of a large degree of falsehood and prejudice) are plausible. Taking their distance from Obama, they effectively lent the Republicans’ sordid tactics the semblance of legitimacy.

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